Le rhum en poche !

Le rhum en poche !

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On November 4th, in Saint Malo, I took the start of the mythical race Route du Rhum, together with another 122 skippers (to experience the start:  https://youtu.be/Yn0SpsS5GdM).

 

There were 20 boats registered in the Imoca Class fleet. I arrived in Guadeloupe on December 1st, after 27 days of sailing, reaching 15th place in the ranking, with a nice race record on arrival, the best Imoca time rounding Guadeloupe! (the arrival: https://youtu.be/L2SbW8cWlVY).

 

This first race across the Atlantic was a real baptism of fire for both my boat and myself. But what bliss to be at sea and experience my boat to the best of her potential, despite the troubles we got through, and my forced stop in Concarneau for a damaged anemometer.

 

Here I stand now, qualified for the le Vendée Globe 2020, and 1st Woman of the IMOCA Globe Series World Championship (Route du Rhum feedback: https://www.vendeeglobe.org/fr/actualites/19406/retour-de-rhum)

 

27j 02h 20mn 54sec of racing including an almost 6-day stop, is a great performance when you know you have the oldest boat of the fleet, with most of the equipment relatively worn out.  And for a first participation, I got served! Very strong weather conditions as soon as the day following the start: a succession of 3 major depressions, and very rough seas overwhelmed the 123 boats. I did not escape it, breaking the aerial (wind force and direction indicators), forcing me into a stand-by in Concarneau... for about 6 days! This anemometer failure, forced me to stop to fix it after only 24 hours of racing.  

 

The weather conditions were dreadful, and this situation lasted a long time. The difficult part after that is to get your motivation back and get yourself back in the match. Luckily, Romain (Attanasio) and Manuel (Cousin) left only 10 hours before me and it boosted me to start again, and not let them distance me too much. Here I was, heading for Guadeloupe after 6 days, and in still demanding conditions, even in the  trade winds, the easterly winds punctuated by thunderstorms and squalls. 

 

It was bliss to be able to race single-handed on this boat I actually knew very little before the start. I had only sailed her 30 days total! Today, I know how to make her evolve and improve. 

 

Single-handed, yet, my project goes way beyond. I shared this adventure with the Kids from 4myplanet, children who closely follow my environmental project. 

 

During the race, I set up two visio-conferences, including a first one live with 500 children, from MArineland, partner of our pedagogical project (to see the news about this day:  https://www.alexiasailingteam.com/fr/news/lancement-du-kit-pedagogique-4myplanet-kids-077.html). Another one with 600 teenagers gathered at La Sorbonne with Croissance Plus! It was great pleasure to share this experience with them. 

 

A first season on IMOCA with a budget under 150 000€, I completed my challenge despite the personal time and investment I put in. We were 50 000€ short for this race. But we made it. All this was possible thanks to a committed collective of passionate people.

 

We shared an incredible adventure. Because a solo offshore race project is not the fruit of one person only, because I share my pleasure and my will, because you have to live your dreams, in these terms my Route du Rhum is a success! 

 

Together with my team, we are still looking for partners to finalise the budget for the Vendée Globe 2020. The first semester will give us the opportunity to set up public relations events with the boat, to go and meet companies in oreder for the project to become reality.